Tonawanda News — It was the era of “Full House” and “The X-Files,” “Jurassic Park,” “Titanic” and President Bill Clinton. It marked the rise of grunge and the advent of Beanie Babies
The North Tonawanda High School chorale program will invite the public to return to that time with “The ‘90s are All That,” the 18th annual Cabaret, presented Friday and Saturday evenings with a Saturday afternoon matinee at the school.
About 120 students in three choirs, as well as small groups and individuals, will present 25 musical numbers, all hailing from the 1990s, said teacher Dean Vallas, who organizes the annual event. Participants include the high school chorale, Bella Voce (the women’s choir) and the Jacks & Jills, the advanced mixed chorus.
Vallas started the event upon his arrival at the school 18 years ago, trying to fill what was then a lack of events for music students.
“It started very small, in the high school cafeteria,” he said. “It was one show, just slapped together ... and then it kept growing and growing. And it continued to grow and grow and grow.”
The yearly theme for the event, which Vallas said is the only one of its kind in the area, is traditionally revealed after the last performance of the student musical in November. While Vallas sets the theme and chorale performances and introduces the show, most of it comes right from the minds of the students involved.
“I’m not out there conducting,” he said. “The audience will see me at the beginning — then the whole rest of the event is student-run. They take over. This is all them.”
Outside of the chorale routines, students audition for a spot in small groups, duos or solos. Those who earn inclusion on the bill control their Cabaret act, Vallas said. “They decide what their music will be, what their costumes will be.”